Sosandar upbeat as sales growth gathers pace, partywear season starts early
Online-only womenswear retailer Sosandar has reported a “very strong” first half, with the EBITDA loss continuing to shrink and a “record start” to the AW21 season.
In the six months to the end of September, revenue rose as much as 184% to £12.2 million, which was more than it had generated in the whole of the previous year. That was helped by a record revenue month in September as it saw demand for new-season product spiking. And the H1 gross margin rose to 56.5% from 52.3%, reflecting a higher proportion of full-price sales year-on-year. It didn't give a specific figure for that EBITDA loss.
The first half of its financial year started strongly and clearly continued that way as the lifting of Covid restrictions gathered pace. While there were concerns around many online retailers that the reopening of physical stores might dent webstore turnover, Sosandar was able to not only hold on to customers but add new ones.
In H1, it saw “continued success” both in retaining existing customers and reaching new ones with website visits up 67% to over six million and active customers up 41% (or an extra 56,000 people) since March. The firm’s repeat buyer order frequency was also up 14% to 3.85 times and the conversion rate increased to 3.91% from 2.58%.
That strength was seen both through its own operations and through third-parties. It said trading with third-parties “stepped up every month through the period”, again, with September being a new record. The company sells through major names M&S, Next and John Lewis and it said trading here “has been very strong, with Sosandar product resonating very well across all types of product category”.
In fact, the new funding it raised back in May is being used to help it meet the proven demand from its third-party partners. It began to increase inventory levels during September and intends to continue with this strategy over the second half.
As far as the product itself is concerned, it said that it has seen “great results across a wide variety of product categories including knitwear, dresses, leather, coats and denim”. The successful broadening of its product range over the last two years “is driving increased conversion and repeat order rates”.
And as consumers return to offices and to socialising, demand for 'going out' and work wear has increased. The company took the decision to bring in stock early for autumn, “anticipating early demand for partywear, coats, boots and knitwear. Sequins, Christmas jumpers and fur coats are already best sellers”.
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